Every year, breast cancer strikes millions of people – men and women. Grove City resident Jane H. Osborne, 49, is one of those women. She is also a survivor.
Osborne proved herself a survivor long before diagnosed with cancer. Twelve years ago, a debilitating back injury forced her to accept disability leave from her job at Delphi. One surgery followed another. The pain, while sometimes temporarily relieved, never left.
Osborne, with the support of her husband, Forrest, as well as family and friends, learned to live day by day.
Then it happened. As Osborne recuperated from yet another surgery early in 2008, cancer reared its ugly head. It had quietly, insidiously impacted both of her breasts. One doctor’s appointment led to another. Ultimately, Osborne opted to have both breasts surgically removed. And she started to write.
"Writing was like a release for me," said Osborne. "To get it all out, to say what I had to say, the words just came out."
She wrote about everything – pain and fear, blessings and ironies. She wrote so much that her home care nurses frequently admonished her to put down her pen and rest.
The end result is a book entitled, "Reflections."
Self-published through Xlibris, Osborne said the book "covers a wide range of emotion. My family and friends are also in these pages."
She credits her husband, parents, family – and friends like Karla McNeela.
"I couldn’t have made it through this without the support of my husband and parents," she said. "And Karla would come and bring me soup or watch movies on the bed. She’d get me out of the house."
Osborne encouraged others experiencing cancer to surround themselves with a strong support system. She also urged women to do breast self-checks, go to their annual exams and get mammograms.
"Don’t wait until you’re in pain," Osborne emphasized. "Try to find out what’s going on."
Today Osborne is cancer free. Yet this journey through cancer has taught her invaluable lessons.
"It takes a lot of strength to get through this," she said. "I’m stronger now than I’ve ever been."
Osborne then added quietly, "Little things don’t matter."
Maybe that’s why Osborne is donating all proceeds from the sale of her book, to the Susan G. Koman Breast Foundation. It’s her way of giving back, of paying it forward.
"I want to help other people," she said.
Individuals interested in purchasing Osborne’s book can go to www.xlibris.com. For information on the Susan G. Koman Breast Foundation, go to www.komencolumbus.org.